ASWAN AND OTHER WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

Finally we reached Aswan where further navigation down the Nile is prevented by two dams. Our boat moored opposite Elephant Island in Aswan. The Island is one of the oldest parts of Aswan and the whitewashed houses looked like something you might find in a Greek Mediterranean fishing village. It looked particularly inviting in the morning sun – so, always weak to temptation, I went on deck to get something down on paper.

Next to our boat, town dwellers waited for the ferry to the island. There are still many rickety ferries on the Nile, but the Egyptians are building new bridges and unfortunately their days seem numbered.

Now I am back home, I have been looking over my sketches and here is another one of the many fishermen among the reedy islands, one I didn’t publish at the time.

And here is the riverside as we approached El Minya with it’s boat building and repair yards that you also see elsewhere, all the way down the river.

I think that is almost all of the sketches. I gave a few to our guide, Salah, who was always checking out what I was doing, but what remains are a reminder of a super trip.

As I said in an earlier blog, painting a scene on a moving boat requires a special approach, as getting what you need down before it’s gone demands speed and a disregard for too much detail – probably not a bad thing in my case.

Other landscapes, townscapes and riparian scenes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com

TOWARDS ASWAN – WATERCOLOUR SKETCHES

We are rapidly heading towards the end of the holiday and the dreaded day of reckoning when we have to settle the bar bill. As regards painting, I am getting a bit repetitious in my sketches, as there isnt any time to do anything on our visits to the temples and monuments, so all of my sketches are from the boat and there are a limited number of subjects that we pass on our voyage. I have taken to pencil sketching in a small sketchbook when I see anything interesting. I race to get the details down before we pass the scene. Then I copy the sketch onto my watercolour pad before starting the painting.

So, above is a sketch done in this fashion. It is a very basic Nile scene where the wind had whipped up the desert dust to give a slightly different colour palette. With the sun shining through the dust and reflecting off the water it gave some good contrasts as well.

At Luxor we had a sunset and I moved the hills which house the Valley of the Kings into the frame, and added a felucca which had earlier passed us, as a couple of guys paddled around the river, casting a fishing net in the warm evening breeze.

Oh, it’s a dirty business, but someone has to do it.

Other landscapes are available for sale on my website: grahammcquadefineart.com